Start your smoke-free future on World COPD Day
NHGS Lambeth CCG is urging residents who smoke to get the help they need to quit on World COPD Day, Wednesday 15 November.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) describes a group of serious lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because airways have become narrow. Living with COPD can make it hard for people to do even simple, everyday tasks. About 1.2 million UK people are living with diagnosed COPD, which makes the condition the second most common lung disease in the UK, after asthma. Around 2% of the whole population – 4.5% of all people aged over 40 – live with diagnosed COPD, and the number is growing.
Smoking is the main cause of COPD. Smokers can often dismiss the early signs of COPD as a 'smoker's cough' but if they continue smoking and the condition worsens, it can greatly impact on their quality of life. Stopping smoking will reduce the risk of this and other diseases. A new Stop Smoking London Helpline service is available here.
In London more people are admitted to hospital for COPD than other regions with similar prevalence. According to the British Lung Foundation, the reasons for this are not clear, although pollution levels may play a part.
The charity's research reveals that residents in Lambeth are more likely to be admitted to hospital/to die from COPD than the average rates for the UK.
NHS Lambeth CCG Chair, Dr Adrian McLachlan said: "Many of our residents have COPD and don't even know it. They're struggling with their symptoms and a lower quality of life. Their condition is progressing because they're not receiving treatment.
"On World COPD Day, let's raise awareness of COPD, find the missing millions and help people get the treatment and support they deserve. There are effective treatments that will increase the odds of successfully quitting smoking, and at this time of year we would strongly recommend the flu vaccine to anyone with COPD. This is available from your GP or pharmacy."
To support World COPD day, residents can take the British Lung Foundation's online breath test. It can help them decide if it's time to see their GP.
If you've been diagnosed with COPD, the BLF passport will help you get the correct care.
Support groups for Londoners with COPD can be located at: https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/breathe-easy
World COPD day is organised by the British Lung Foundation.